On Saturday 30 July 2016 the South Under 16 team travelled to Cockermouth to seek revenge in the return match against the Cumbria Under 16 team. The course was in fine condition but the weather was unpleasant with cloudy skies and a cold stiff breeze from the south-west.
The eight-man South team consisted of some seasoned regulars and four young boys making their debut and Cumbria fielded a strong experienced team with only two youngsters. This was going to be a stern test of the ability of the South boys.
In the morning foursomes Mitchell Cowie (D&C) and Jamie Marchbank (D&G) were five down after 8 holes and struggling to match the par golf of their opponents. When the Cumbria pairing eagled the par 5 twelfth hole to win 7 and 6 they were one over par. This was very impressive golf in the conditions and although the south boys did not play badly they conceded defeat gracefully. Lewis Fraser (D&C) and David Sharp (D&C) got off to a better start and were three up after 8, back to one up after 12 and 15 but lost 16 and 17 when their putting deserted them and lost by one hole.
Taylor Kerr (Sanquhar) and Lewis Cheetham (D&C) played well and combined well from the start and to be two up after 8, five up after 12 and won the thirteenth to win by 6 and 5. This was encouraging for two young boys making their debut and gave them confidence for the afternoon singles. Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick) and Patrick Innes (Kirkcudbright) took time to settle but the long straight hitting of Sam and steady putting of Patrick kept them in the game as they went from all square after 8 to one down after 12 before the Cumbria boys had birdies at 16 and 17 to win the game 3 and 1.
Cumbria took a lead of 3 games to 1 into lunch and although the South boys were disappointed they were not disheartened and determined to turn the tables in the afternoon singles.
After lunch Mitchell Cowie led the South team in the afternoon singles. He played very well in holding his opponent to all square at the turn but was two down with three to play, then won the last two holes to square his game and gain a valuable half point for his team. Jamie Marchbank won the first hole of his game but could not sustain the momentum and lost 4 and 2.
Lewis Fraser went two up after two holes but was soon brought back to all square before holes were exchanged on a regular basis. His fighting spirit kept him in the game and he won the par 3 seventeenth and a half at the last was sufficient for him to win one up. David Sharp lost two holes early on but battled back to be all square after 8 before his putting stroke and confidence deserted him and he lost 3 and 2.
In the next match Taylor Kerr was never up, but never gave up, and holes were traded all the way to the eighteenth where the game finished all square. The young Lewis Cheetham found himself against a much older and stronger boy and finding the hilly course sapped his strength he tired towards the end and lost 5 and 4. He fought to the end and with more experience will surely be an asset to the South team in the future.
In the game of the day Sam Mitchell and his opponent had twelve birdies in the first 12 holes and Sam was one up. He lost the sixteenth but halved the last two holes to square the game. This was a fair result as both boys had played so well and neither deserved to lose. Patrick Innes, the latest Kirkcudbright prodigy, took time to settle on his debut and was three down after 12. His driving accuracy then deserted him in the strong wind and he lost by 5 and 4.
Cumbria won the afternoon singles by 5½ games to 2½ and the match by 8½ games to 3½.
All the boys acquitted themselves well and the future of golf in the South of Scotland looks in good hands.
Mitchell Cowie (D&C) and Jamie Marchbank (D&G) lost to Archie Davies and Dominic Barron by 7 & 6
Lewis Fraser (D&C) and David Sharp (D&C) lost to Liam Mason and Will Coxon by 1 hole
Taylor Kerr (Sanquhar) and Lewis Cheetham (D&C) beat Michael Cullen and Tom McNeil by 6 & 5
Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick) and Patrick Innes (Kirkcudbright) lost to Jamie Sowerby and Joseph Brennan by 3 & 1
Foursomes Result South 1 Cumbria 3
Mitchell Cowie halved with Archie Davies
Jamie Marchbank lost to Liam Mason by 4 & 2
Lewis Fraser beat Tom McNeil by 1 hole
David Sharp lost to Dominic Barron by 3 & 2
Taylor Kerr halved with Will Coxon
Lewis Cheetham lost to Michael Cullen by 5 & 4
Sam Mitchell halved with Jamie Sowerby
Patrick Innes lost to Joseph Brennan by 5 & 4
Singles Result South 2½ Cumbria 5½
Match Result South 3½ Cumbria 8½
The photograph shows the team that represented South of Scotland. From the left Patrick Innes, Sam Mitchell,
Taylor Kerr, Lewis Fraser, Mitchell Cowie, Lewis Cheetham, David Sharp and Jamie Marchbank